Forward Looking Statements
Some of the statements in this website, as well as statements made by us in periodic press releases or other public communications, constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Certain, but not necessarily all, of such forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as “believes,” “expects,” “may,” “will,” “should,” or “anticipates” or the negative thereof or other comparable terminology. All statements other than of historical facts are forward looking statements. Forward looking statements contained in this document include those regarding market trends, NVR’s financial position, business strategy, the outcome of pending litigation, investigations or similar contingencies, projected plans and objectives of management for future operations. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results or performance of NVR to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risk factors include, but are not limited to the following: general economic and business conditions (on both a national and regional level); interest rate changes; access to suitable financing by NVR and NVR’s customers; increased regulation in the mortgage banking industry; the ability of our mortgage banking subsidiary to sell loans it originates into the secondary market; competition; the availability and cost of land and other raw materials used by NVR in its homebuilding operations; shortages of labor; weather related slow-downs; building moratoriums; governmental regulation; fluctuation and volatility of stock and other financial markets; mortgage financing availability; and other factors over which NVR has little or no control. NVR undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements except as required by law.
Our business is affected by the risks generally incident to the residential construction business, including, but not limited to:
- the availability of mortgage financing;
- actual and expected direction of interest rates, which affect our costs, the availability of construction financing, and long-term financing for potential purchasers of homes;
- the availability of adequate land in desirable locations on favorable terms;
- unexpected changes in customer preferences; and
- changes in the national economy and in the local economies of the markets in which we have operations.
All of these risks are discussed in detail below.
The homebuilding industry experienced a significant downturn over the past several years, which could continue to adversely affect our business and our results of operations.
Over the past several years, the homebuilding industry experienced a significant downturn as a result of low consumer confidence driven by an economic recession, high unemployment levels, affordability issues and uncertainty as to the stability of home prices. As a result, we experienced reduced demand for new homes. During 2012, we began to see signs of strengthening within the homebuilding industry with increasing sales and stabilization of selling prices in many markets. However, the housing market continues to face challenges from a tight mortgage lending environment and consumer confidence issues due to sustained high levels of unemployment. The downturn experienced in the homebuilding industry could have a material adverse effect on our sales either through fewer gross sales and/or higher cancellation rates, which could have a material adverse effect on our profitability, stock performance, ability to service our debt obligations and future cash flows.
If the market value of our inventory or controlled lot position declines, our profit could decrease and we may incur losses.
Inventory risk can be substantial for homebuilders. The market value of building lots and housing inventories can fluctuate significantly as a result of changing market conditions. In addition, inventory carrying costs can be significant and can result in losses in a poorly performing project or market. We must, in the ordinary course of our business, continuously seek and make acquisitions of lots for expansion into new markets as well as for replacement and expansion within our current markets, which is generally accomplished by us entering fixed price purchase agreements and paying forfeitable deposits under the purchase agreement to developers for the contractual right to acquire the lots. In the event of further adverse changes in economic or market conditions, we may cease further building activities in communities or restructure existing purchase agreements, resulting in forfeiture of some or all of any remaining land contract deposit paid to the developer. Either action may result in a loss which could have a material adverse effect on our profitability, stock performance, ability to service our debt obligations and future cash flows.
If the underwriting quality of our mortgage originations is found to be deficient, our profit could decrease and we may incur losses.
We originate several different loan products to our customers to finance the purchase of their home. We sell all of the loans we originate into the secondary mortgage market generally within 30 days from origination. All of the loans that we originate are underwritten to the standards and specifications of the ultimate investor. Insofar as we underwrite our originated loans to those standards, we bear no increased concentration of credit risk from the issuance of loans, except in certain limited instances where early payment default occurs. In the event that a substantial number of the loans that we have originated fall into default and the investors to whom we sold the loan determine that we did not underwrite the loan in accordance with their requirements, we could be required to repurchase the loans from the investor or indemnify the investor for any losses incurred. This may result in losses which could have a material adverse effect on our profitability, stock performance, ability to service our debt obligations and future cash flows.
Because almost all of our customers require mortgage financing, the availability of suitable mortgage financing could impair the affordability of our homes, lower demand for our products, and limit our ability to fully deliver our backlog.
Our business and earnings depend on the ability of our potential customers to obtain mortgages for the purchase of our homes. In addition, many of our potential customers must sell their existing homes in order to buy a home from us. The tightening of credit standards and the availability of suitable mortgage financing could prevent customers from buying our homes and could prevent buyers of our customers’ homes from obtaining mortgages they need to complete that purchase, both of which could result in our potential customers’ inability to buy a home from us. If our potential customers or the buyers of our customers’ current homes are not able to obtain suitable financing, the result could have a material adverse effect on our sales, profitability, stock performance, ability to service our debt obligations and future cash flows.
If our ability to sell mortgages to investors is impaired, we may be required to fund these commitments ourselves, or may not be able to originate loans at all.
Our mortgage banking business sells all of the loans it originates into the secondary market usually within 30 days from the date of closing, and has up to approximately $25 million available in a repurchase agreement to fund mortgage closings. In the event that disruptions to the secondary markets similar to those which occurred during 2007 and 2008 continue to tighten or eliminate the available liquidity within the secondary markets for mortgage loans, or the underwriting requirements by our secondary market investors continue to become more stringent, our ability to sell future mortgages could decline and we could be required, among other things, to fund our commitments to our buyers with our own financial resources, which is limited, or require our home buyers to find another source of financing. The result of such secondary market disruption could have a material adverse effect on our sales, profitability, stock performance, ability to service our debt obligations and future cash flows.
Interest rate movements, inflation and other economic factors can negatively impact our business.
High rates of inflation generally affect the homebuilding industry adversely because of their adverse impact on interest rates. High interest rates not only increase the cost of borrowed funds to homebuilders but also have a significant effect on housing demand and on the affordability of permanent mortgage financing to prospective purchasers. We are also subject to potential volatility in the price of commodities that impact costs of materials used in our homebuilding business. Increases in prevailing interest rates could have a material adverse effect on our sales, profitability, stock performance, ability to service our debt obligations and future cash flows.
Our financial results also are affected by the risks generally incident to our mortgage banking business, including interest rate levels, the impact of government regulation on mortgage loan originations and servicing and the need to issue forward commitments to fund and sell mortgage loans. Our homebuilding customers account for almost all of our mortgage banking business. The volume of our continuing homebuilding operations therefore affects our mortgage banking business.
Our mortgage banking business also is affected by interest rate fluctuations. We also may experience marketing losses resulting from daily increases in interest rates to the extent we are unable to match interest rates and amounts on loans we have committed to originate with forward commitments from third parties to purchase such loans. Increases in interest rates may have a material adverse effect on our mortgage banking revenue, profitability, stock performance, ability to service our debt obligations and future cash flows.
Our operations may also be adversely affected by other economic factors within our markets such as negative changes in employment levels, job growth, and consumer confidence and availability of mortgage financing, one or all of which could result in reduced demand or price depression from current levels. Such negative trends could have a material adverse effect on homebuilding operations.
These factors and thus, the homebuilding business, have at times in the past been cyclical in nature. Any downturn in the national economy or the local economies of the markets in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our sales, profitability, stock performance and ability to service our debt obligations. In particular, approximately 38% of our home settlements during 2012 occurred in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD metropolitan areas, which accounted for approximately 47% of our homebuilding revenues in 2012. Thus, we are dependent to a significant extent on the economy and demand for housing in those areas.
Our inability to secure and control an adequate inventory of lots could adversely impact our operations.
The results of our homebuilding operations are dependent upon our continuing ability to control an adequate number of homebuilding lots in desirable locations. There can be no assurance that an adequate supply of building lots will continue to be available to us on terms similar to those available in the past, or that we will not be required to devote a greater amount of capital to controlling building lots than we have historically. An insufficient supply of building lots in one or more of our markets, an inability of our developers to deliver finished lots in a timely fashion due to their inability to secure financing to fund development activities or for other reasons, or our inability to purchase or finance building lots on reasonable terms could have a material adverse effect on our sales, profitability, stock performance, ability to service our debt obligations and future cash flows.
Volatility in the credit and capital markets may impact our ability to access necessary financing.
If we require working capital greater than that provided by our operations, we may be required to obtain alternative financing. No assurance can be given that additional financing will be available on terms that are favorable or acceptable. If we are required to seek financing to fund our working capital requirements, continued volatility in these markets similar to that experienced in the past several years may restrict our flexibility to access financing. If we are at any time unsuccessful in obtaining sufficient capital to fund our planned homebuilding expenditures, we may experience a substantial delay in the completion of any homes then under construction, or we may be unable to control or purchase finished building lots. Any delay could result in cost increases and could have a material adverse effect on our sales, profitability, stock performance, ability to service our debt obligations and future cash flows.
Our mortgage banking operations are dependent in part on the availability, cost and other terms of mortgage financing facilities, and may be adversely affected by any shortage or increased cost of such financing. No assurance can be given that any additional or replacement financing will be available on terms that are favorable or acceptable. Our mortgage banking operations are also dependent upon the securitization market for mortgage-backed securities, and could be materially adversely affected by any fluctuation or downturn in such market.
Our current indebtedness may impact our future operations.
Our existing indebtedness contains restrictive covenants and any future indebtedness may also contain covenants. These covenants include, or could include, restrictions on our ability to create, incur, assume or guarantee secured debt, enter into sale and leaseback transactions and conditions related to mergers and/or the sale of assets. Substantial losses by us or other action or inaction by us or our subsidiaries could result in the violation of one or more of these covenants, which could result in decreased liquidity or a default on our current or future indebtedness, thereby having a material adverse effect on our sales, profitability, stock performance, ability to service our debt obligations and future cash flows.
Government regulations and environmental matters could negatively affect our operations.
We are subject to various local, state and federal statutes, ordinances, rules and regulations concerning zoning, building design, construction and similar matters, including local regulations that impose restrictive zoning and density requirements in order to limit the number of homes that can eventually be built within the boundaries of a particular area. These regulations may further increase the cost to produce and market our products. In addition, we have from time to time been subject to, and may also be subject in the future to, periodic delays in our homebuilding projects due to building moratoriums in the areas in which we operate. Changes in regulations that restrict homebuilding activities in one or more of our principal markets could have a material adverse effect on our sales, profitability, stock performance, ability to service our debt obligations and future cash flows.
We are also subject to a variety of local, state and federal statutes, ordinances, rules and regulations concerning the protection of health and the environment. We are subject to a variety of environmental conditions that can affect our business and our homebuilding projects. The particular environmental laws that apply to any given homebuilding site vary greatly according to the location and environmental condition of the site and the present and former uses of the site and adjoining properties. Environmental laws and conditions may result in delays, cause us to incur substantial compliance and other costs, or prohibit or severely restrict homebuilding activity in certain environmentally sensitive regions or areas, thereby adversely affecting our sales, profitability, stock performance, ability to service our debt obligations and future cash flows.
In addition, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, enacted on July 21, 2010, contains numerous provisions affecting residential mortgages and mortgage lending practices. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued rules governing multiple issues in January 2013, including “Ability to Repay” underwriting provisions, appraisal standards, servicing and escrow rules, and loan officer compensation requirements. Additional rulemaking is expected within the next couple of months. The ultimate impact of such provisions on lending institutions, including our mortgage banking subsidiary, will depend on the banking industry’s implementation of these new standards.
We are an approved seller/servicer of FNMA mortgage loans and an approved seller/issuer of GNMA, FHLMC, VA and FHA mortgage loans, and are subject to all of those agencies' rules and regulations. Any significant impairment of our eligibility to sell/service these loans could have a material adverse impact on our mortgage operations. In addition, we are subject to regulation at the state and federal level with respect to specific origination, selling and servicing practices including the Real Estate Settlement and Protection Act. Adverse changes in governmental regulation may have a negative impact on our mortgage loan origination business.
We face competition in our housing and mortgage banking operations.
The homebuilding industry is highly competitive. We compete with numerous homebuilders of varying size, ranging from local to national in scope, some of whom have greater financial resources than we do. We face competition:
- for suitable and desirable lots at acceptable prices;
- from selling incentives offered by competing builders within and across developments; and
- from the existing home resale market.
Our homebuilding operations compete primarily on the basis of price, location, design, quality, service and reputation.
The mortgage banking industry is also competitive. Our main competition comes from national, regional and local mortgage bankers, thrifts, banks and mortgage brokers in each of these markets. Our mortgage banking operations compete primarily on the basis of customer service, variety of products offered, interest rates offered, prices of ancillary services and relative financing availability and costs.
There can be no assurance that we will continue to compete successfully in our homebuilding or mortgage banking operations. An inability to effectively compete may have an adverse impact on our sales, profitability, stock performance, ability to service our debt obligations and future cash flows.
A shortage of building materials or labor, or increases in materials or labor costs may adversely impact our operations.
The homebuilding business has from time to time experienced building material and labor shortages, including shortages in insulation, drywall, certain carpentry work and concrete, as well as fluctuating lumber prices and supply. In addition, strong construction market conditions could restrict the labor force available to our subcontractors and us in one or more of our markets. Significant increases in costs resulting from these shortages, or delays in construction of homes, could have a material adverse effect upon our sales, profitability, stock performance, ability to service our debt obligations and future cash flows.
Product liability litigation and warranty claims may adversely impact our operations.
Construction defect and home warranty claims are common and can represent a substantial risk for the homebuilding industry. The cost of insuring against construction defect and product liability related claims, as well as the claims themselves, can be high. In addition, insurance companies limit coverage offered to protect against these claims. Further restrictions on coverage availability, or significant increases in premium costs or claims, could have a material adverse effect on our financial results.
We are subject to litigation proceedings that could harm our business if an unfavorable ruling were to occur.
From time to time, we may become involved in litigation and other legal proceedings relating to claims arising from our operations in the normal course of business. As described in, but not limited to, Part I, Item 3, “Legal Proceedings” of this Form 10-K, we are currently subject to certain legal proceedings. Litigation is subject to inherent uncertainties, and unfavorable rulings may occur. We cannot assure you that these or other litigation or legal proceedings will not materially affect our ability to conduct our business in the manner that we expect or otherwise adversely affect us should an unfavorable ruling occur.
Weather-related and other events beyond our control may adversely impact our operations.
Extreme weather or other events, such as significant snowfalls, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, forest fires, floods, terrorist attacks or war, may affect our markets, our operations and our profitability. These events may impact our physical facilities or those of our suppliers or subcontractors, causing us material increases in costs, or delays in construction of homes, which could have a material adverse effect upon our sales, profitability, stock performance, ability to service our debt obligations and future cash flows.
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